Carrie Kahn

Imperfect shark tale still has some bite  

Cage diving with sharks is fun…  until the rope breaks and the cage plummets.

Spinning Platters recently hosted its first music trivia event at SOMA StrEat Food Park, but if you missed it, have no fear – others are on the horizon. And to (ahem) tide you over, here’s a brief little summer movie quiz: match the tagline with its corresponding shark attack movie:

TAGLINES                                                          MOVIES

1.) Don’t go in the water                                  a.) Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

2.) Pray that you drown first                             b.) The Shallows (2016)

3.) Stay out of the water                                  c.) Jaws (1975)                       

4.) Shark happens!                                           d.) The Reef (2010)

5.) Who will save you?                                     e.) 47 Meters Down (2017)

6.) Not just another day at the beach               f.) Open Water (2003)

Answers are at the bottom of the review*, but, in the meantime, let’s take a look at letter “e”, the newest shark movie on our list. In the pantheon of shark movies, British horror director Johannes Roberts’s 47 Meters Down ranks somewhere above Sharknado 2 and last year’s Blake Lively-Talks-to-A-Seagull picture (AKA The Shallows), but well below the 1975 standard bearer Jaws and the chilling Sundance indie hit Open Water. [read the whole post]


Hitchcockian thriller will leave you guessing 

Philip (Sam Claflin) is unsure what to make of his Cousin Rachel (Rachel Weisz) when she comes to stay. 

If you find yourself left edgy and itchy when the film you’re watching doesn’t wrap up nice and neat and tidy, then you’d do well to avoid My Cousin Rachel, a period drama that raises more questions than it answers, and leaves its viewers in a state of ambiguity. Of course if you find such a state more intriguing than frustrating, then you’ll definitely want to add this picture to your summer viewing list. In fact, you’ll want to give it the number one spot.
[read the whole post]


Wonder no more: It’s really good  

Brave, fierce, and mighty, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is on a mission to rid the world of war and evil. 

After witnessing the total failure that was Zack Snyder’s bloated Batman v Superman last year, fans and critics alike have been understandably skeptical about the future of the DC comics’ film franchise. The one bright spot in Snyder’s otherwise paint-by-numbers action flick, was, of course, the brief introduction of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. DC Universe die-hards and the movie-going public at large can now breathe a sigh of relief, however. With Wonder Woman, the next installment in the DC cinematic series, director Patty Jenkins has created a thoroughly entertaining, thoughtful, and just plain fun film that should please both DC comics purists as well as those totally new to the Wonder Woman story.
[read the whole post]


Come on and join together: Communal living, for better or worse 

Anna (Trine Dyrholm) and Erik (Ulrich Thomsen) face marital strains. 

Reuniting for the first time since their excellent 2013 Oscar-nominated picture The Hunt, the Danish directing/writing team of Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm have collaborated again on The Commune, a smart, sensitive, and well-acted picture based on Vinterberg’s 2011 play of the same name. While the duo share writing credit on the screenplay, Vinterberg alone takes the director’s reins. Here he returns to a Dogme 95-styled tight focus on story and character that successfully bypasses the trappings of melodrama to offer viewers an emotionally layered and thought provoking look at marriage and family in its many forms.
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Film Review: Snatched

by Carrie Kahn on May 12, 2017

Hawn, Schumer deserve better than middling comedy

Emily (Amy Schumer, l.) and her mom Linda (Goldie Hawn) find themselves in a bit of a predicament when their Ecuador vacation goes awry.

Legendary comedienne Goldie Hawn has not been seen on the big screen since 2002’s The Banger Sisters, so it’s a shame that her return from a 15-year absence is in a mediocre film unworthy of her talents. On paper, the premise for Hawn’s revival movie probably sounded great: an adventure comedy that would pair her with Amy Schumer, the current generation’s hip young blonde comic actress (can a remake of Private Benjamin with Schumer in the lead be far behind?). But the genius of casting the legend as mother to the edgy newcomer only works if the material is fresh, sharp, and funny, and, unfortunately for Hawn and Schumer, Snatched falls short on that front.
[read the whole post]


Powerhouse actors make tonally odd picture worth watching

Married couple Mary (Debra Winger) and Michael (Tracy Letts) are both having affairs, unbeknownst to the other. 

The Lovers is an odd movie. That’s not to say that it’s not worth seeing; it’s just that tonally, strange is the best word to describe it. A virtual pas de deux between heavy hitters Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, the picture focuses on their characters Michael and Mary, a long-married husband and wife, each of whom is having an affair and plotting to leave the other. In the midst of this mendacity, however, a spark rekindles between the couple, jeopardizing their extracurricular relationships.
[read the whole post]


Film Review: The Promise

April 21, 2017

Emotionally powerful new film brings story of Armenian genocide to light April 24th is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, so opening The Promise this weekend is obviously intentional. Irish director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) and screenwriter Robin Swicord have made the first major Hollywood picture to tell a story about the horrific event commemorated by that […]

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SFFILM Festival Spotlights #5

April 16, 2017

Five More Spotlights as SFFILM Enters Final Week The 60th San Francisco International Film Festival wraps up this week, but there’s still time to catch a few screenings before closing day on Thursday; you can browse the schedule and buy tickets here. Stay tuned to Spinning Platters for our final spotlight posts to help finish […]

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Film Review: Gifted

April 7, 2017

Talented cast is the real gift in otherwise predictable family drama Director Marc Webb’s new film Gifted asks us to not only buy a 7-year-old girl as an MIT-level math genius, but also hunky Captain America star Chris Evans as a former Boston University philosophy professor; I’m not sure which characterization requires the greater suspension […]

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Film Review: The Zookeeper’s Wife

March 31, 2017

Profiles in courage: Inspiring true WWII story worth seeing Another film to consider in the context of Passover, but for entirely different, and far more somber, reasons happens to open the same day as In Search of Israeli Cuisine. The eve of Passover on April 19, 1943 marked the burning and total destruction of the Warsaw […]

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